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Obono-Obla’s arrest, detention followed due process —ICPC

Obono-Obla fights back, sues ICPC, ignores invitation

Against the backdrop of complaints that the former Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel, Okoi Obono-Obla was being held arbitrarily, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), said on Saturday that due process was followed before and after his arrest.

Spokesperson of the Commission, Rasheedat Okoduwa declared this in a statement in Abuja, adding that the clarification became necessary because of the questions raised by someone who said he was representing Obono-Obla on the legality of the arrest and treatment in detention.

“The attention of the commission has been called to a press statement issued on social media and signed by one F. Baba Isah, claiming to be representing other unnamed counsel for Chief Okoi Obono-Obla (sic).

“Obono-Obla was arrested on March 20, 2020 by the commission after many months of his refusal to honour the invitations of the commission requesting him to appear for investigation on the allegations of sundry breaches of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and other allied criminal statutes.

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“The commission needs to put it on record that before his arrest, Obono-Obla had been declared wanted and the relevant law enforcement agencies informed to arrest him if found. The March 20, 2020 when he was eventually arrested by the commission was a Friday and none of his lawyers came for him to have access as alleged in the press statement. Access to him would definitely have been granted if any lawyer had come on that day”, the statement reads in part.

Okoduwa also claimed that the ICPC grants Obono-Obla’s wife, family members and lawyers access to him in custody.

“Since the arrest, the commission has allowed daily access to Obono-Obla by his wife and family members, who bring him food. From March 23, 2020, his lawyers, including a respectable Senior Advocate of Nigeria, have also had unencumbered access to him. Furthermore, he received a visit from an honourable member of the House of Representatives.

“In processing Obono-Obla, due process was ensured as his arrest was done with a warrant, just as the search in his house upon which documents relevant to investigation were retrieved. Items taken away for investigation were listed and the list duly signed by Chief Obono-Obla himself.

“About Chief Obono-Obla’s health, he was run through standard medical protocols when he was brought into the commission and continues to have access to medical care at the National Hospital as necessary,” Okoduwa stated.

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